Christie, Trump hit DeSantis over Disney dispute

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took aim at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying he doesn’t think the Florida leader is a conservative in light of his ongoing conflict with Disney.

“I’m a conservative, and I believe as a conservative, the job of government is…to stay out of the business of business. I don’t think we should be heavily regulating business. I don’t think we should be telling business what to do, what to say, how to think,” Christie told Semafor on Tuesday.

“I don’t think Ron DeSantis is a conservative based on his actions towards Disney,” he added.

DeSantis is expected to launch a presidential campaign in the 2024 race for the White House. Christie is also mulling a bid for the White House.

Christie said if elected officials are going to use their levers of power “you’ve got to look around the corners to see the result of that will be.”

“For him to have taken the action he took against Disney and to not have foreseen that Disney was going to do what they did in response… I’ll tell you this much. That’s not the guy I want sitting across from President Xi and negotiating our next agreement with China. Or sitting across from Putin and trying to resolve what’s happening in Ukraine, if you can’t see around a corner that Bob Iger created for you,” Christie said, referencing Disney’s CEO.

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Is DeSantis going after Disney?

DeSantis on Monday made headlines after suggesting that the state could build a new prison near Disney World, a major driver of tourism in the state. The governor’s comments come after he has previously slammed Disney for being too “woke” after it opposed his Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed by some critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Though DeSantis has backed legislation taking away Disney’s self-governing status in Florida, the company has continued to find paths to circumvent the state’s control. DeSantis on Monday said Florida lawmakers are set to unveil legislation to revoke Disney’s agreements.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which governs Disney properties, owns properties next to Disney’s resorts. DeSantis said the properties could be developed into a slate of different options – including a prison.

“People are like: ‘What should we do with this land?” DeSantis said, adding “People have said maybe create a state park, maybe try to do more amusements parks, someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless, so that is now going be analyzed to see what would make the most sense.”

Trump: DeSantis, Disney conflict ‘a stunt’

Christie isn’t the only Republican calling out DeSantis over his conflict with Disney. Former President Donald Trump called the tension between Disney and the Florida governor “unnecessary” and a “political stunt.”

“Disney’s next move will be the announcement that no more money will be invested in Florida because of the Governor – In fact, they could even announce a slow withdrawal or sale of certain properties, or the whole thing. Watch!” Trump shared on Truth Social on Tuesday.

Contributing: Zac Anderson, USA TODAY NETWORK

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Christie, Trump hit DeSantis after prison comment in Disney dispute

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